How do the Japanese promote good behavior?
I always wonder how it is possible to get so many people behave in a special way, especially when it comes to public manners.
No scoop here, but the Japanese society model is not based on individualism. Fitting in is a matter of survival. But well, how do they promote good manners?
But what is exactly a nuisance in Japan? Something totally accepted in Europe, of the States, or China, or ... or... could be ill-mannered here. How do we know?
Senpai Kih made a post on good manners in public space. If you are not sure, watch the posters in the trains and stations... They are the kind of don't do this! don't do that... kindergarden level posters that you find on the windows of the trains...
Some of them are quite mysterious, I agree. It takes some imagination to understand what the illustration means...
Well, the poster "do not rush into the train" looks to me as: "if you can get into the train, you will get a piece of strawberry cake... " kind of advertisement. and the yellow notice look like a "Darth Vador is on our train" ...
How do we know?
The thing is, the good-mannered model is always looking nice and the stigmatised nuisance model is always looking sick. So you will know... If you want to look good and sexy, do not be a nuisance to other.
The new promotion campaign is about loosing the habit of "nagara", meaning, "while doing" . So, the new habit you are kindly requested to avoid is "walking while sms-ing", or "practicing golf while waiting for the train" (yes, you read me well!), or "walking around while totally drunk".
Well, I always wonder why this kind of illustration have an impact on people and what are the social mechanism at work. And it occurs to me that the omnipresent posters are like road signals.
When you drive, if you see a round and red signal with a white stripe inside, you know you cannot drive into the street... It is the same with manners. The posters are informing about the public code. For instance, please do not brush your teeth in public ... (my imagination for this one)
It is true that some of these posters do have a positive effect. We do not see so many girls making-up in the train anymore, for instance. However, the request to avoid texting while walking habit is not yet ingrained in everyone's mind...
So, for your own safety, it is better to be watch carefully where you are walking because texting-while-walking people will not be so careful!